MHAPS offers a range of group options for connecting with people with similar experiences, using the Intentional Peer Support approach (see more information below).
The groups are designed for people experiencing any kind of mental distress or challenge to their wellbeing. There are no fees, although donations are always welcome.
Intentional Peer Support at MHAPS
Intentional Peer Support (IPS) is a trauma-informed framework for creating safe yet transformative connections.
Unlike traditional mental health service relationships, the relationships we create through IPS are founded on a willingness of both people to learn and grow. Thus, nobody is the helper and the point is not to try to ‘fix’ you.
We’re rather much more interested in growing a relationship that allows each of us to understand how we came to see things the way we do, and how we might work with our particular circumstances to find new possibilities, including greater ease, confidence and fulfilment.
We offer IPS to both individuals and groups. In each case, we work through four tasks:
- building connection;
- exploring our own and each other’s worldview;
- practising mutuality (two-way relationships);
- and moving towards what we want in our lives.
At all times, we are guided by three overarching principles:
- moving from helping to co-learning;
- focusing on our relationship as peers rather than you as an individual;
- and responding from a personal sense of hope and possibility rather than our socially-conditioned fear.
MHAPS Peer Workers
All MHAPS peer workers have lived experience of mental health and/or addictions challenges, and of working consciously with these experiences to move towards new possibilities.
To respond with integrity to whatever it is you may be going through, our peer workers regularly take time to reflect on their work and to further develop their practice of IPS. This work, however, is more than just a job to us – it is about transforming our understanding of our experiences, and giving expression to a freer and more dignified way of being in the world.